Blog Tour: The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever

April 20, 2016

The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. Jeff Strand. 2016. 272 pages.  Sourcebooks Fire. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.]

Aspiring filmmakers Justin, Bobby, and Gabe have three failed movies under their belts.  But that doesn’t stop them from committing themselves to creating an unforgettable cinematic masterpiece … about zombies … filmed with next-to-no budget … over the next month. Lesser directors might balk at the task, but these three 15 year olds jump right into it, with minimal regrets.

The comedy follows the team’s antics as they try to convince their community — and themselves — that “The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever” (that’s the working title …) will be made and it will be epic. There are quite a few bumps along the way, between a hysterically crying starlet, a destroyed camera, a car crash for the director, and a burned down house with all their zombie costumes inside. These kids alternate between the best luck ever and Murphy’s Law, which is entertaining without being completely hokey.

The author definitely paid attention to the film-making aspect in a way that I hadn’t fully expected. I’m admittedly not a movie fan, so my knowledge of film-making is low. But through the book, Strand gave insights about the process that were age-appropriate. From the boom mic to the purpose of the clapper at the start of a scene, he provided descriptions and rationale that lent authenticity to what the three teens were doing. Whether the reader is a film buff or just a casual viewer, these details help make the book more robust.

My favorite aspect of the book is the undeniable humor. Even in the midst of what should be dilemmas that completely sideline the movie, the situations are hilarious to see unfold. At times I chuckled to myself, while other times I was actually laughing out loud. And although suspension of disbelief isn’t always the strongest, the book’s events are never so incredulous that I was thinking “yeah, right … in what world.” OK, I did sometimes, but it was definitely in a good way.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It’s definitely a departure from my normal books and dealings with zombies, which usually come from bad-good movies on the Syfy channel. However, The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever gives the reader a lighthearted look behind the scenes of film-making. I would definitely recommend this book for reluctant readers; it’s a fun and funny read that leaves you wondering how/whether this movie is really going to be made and makes you enjoy the journey to find the answer.

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